fine art of the human form

Figureworks

Upcoming Events

Drawing Group
Saturdays: 10am - 1pm

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Figureworks hosts 3 hour weekly life drawing sessions Saturday from 10am-1pm.

Short poses (2 min-20min)

$10.00 per session

 

Mary Westring: A Retrospective
 

June 11 & 12, 2022

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Figureworks is honored to present Mary Westring: A Retrospective.  This two day celebration will be held  on June 11th and 12th in Mary Westring's studio at 190 Grand St in Williamsburg Brooklyn, a few blocks from Figureworks. 

 

Mary Westring's career currently spans over 60 years as she continues to master the art of drawing, etching, painting and sculpture. This is an incredible opportunity to see this body of work in the artist's expansive studio.  And, in celebration of her birthday on this weekend, special pricing will also be offered.

Mary received her training at the University of Wisconsin and the Ruth Leaf Workshop. She was a founding member of the Graphic Eye Gallery in Port Washington, NY and taught printmaking at the L.I. Arts Council in Freeport, NY. For over 20 years, she resides and works from her studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Mary has had numerous one-woman exhibitions, including Figureworks Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts, Recent Works Gallery in Lancaster, PA, Princeton Art Association, Silvermine Guild of Artists and an exhibit entitled "Hiroshima: Questions" in Sapporo, Japan, where she lived and painted for one year. Her work is in many private and corporate collections.

Artist’s Statement

 

            It would be hard for me to decide what is my favorite medium. In the sixty years that I have dared to call myself an artist, I have spent considerable time in several media. Printmaking, most specifically intaglio, and drawing consumed my earlier years. Those disciplines led to mixed-media pieces involving the press and other printmaking techniques in a less concise, less rigid, one-of-a-kind format. That use of pigments directly on paper gave me the impetus to paint, which I have been doing for the past few years. I also work with clay, sculpting the human form and of all the media I work in, sculpting is the easiest, the most relaxing. 

            As I look back on the bodies of work that I have done over the years in this variety of media, it is clear that I work from two different emotional places. When I am troubled about something, especially if it is beyond my control, I take comfort from processing my thoughts through my hands and that has resulted in some very personal statements. I worked through the Vietnam War, the dreadful rape of a friend of my daughter, my thoughts on Hiroshima when I lived in Japan, my mother’s death, the first Gulf War, portraits of child soldiers of Uganda with whom I work and 9/11. 

           When I have “said” all that I can say on the subject, I then need to relax for a time with pieces that are simply statements of something that I find beautiful; the way the sun hits a building in New York City or the laundry on a line from a fire escape in Brooklyn or the reflections on the greasy water in my pot in the sink. I sometimes work on things I find humorous, the way people taking pictures stand, how commuters endure a subway ride, the docile resigned way people stand patiently in line, my naked body distorted in the reflections in the chrome of the bath tub.

            My eye has been trained to see, to note and record and I know I achieved this “eye training” from my mother. She would draw my attention to the composition of shadows on the side of a barn, a distant black stripe of trees on a snowy field or the pattern of seeds in a cucumber. She was untrained but had an innate understanding of composition and form.

           I know that I developed my hand skills from watching my father, a self-described “wood butcher”, a self-taught calligrapher, a remodeler of houses, a marionette maker. He taught me that an untrained person can do whatever she sets her mind to if she has a desire to do it and with practice and patience, can become proficient.

           I take a great deal of pleasure and comfort from working with my hands to express my worries, sorrows and outrage, comment on the beauty around me and record the endearing and humorous traits of my fellow humans. I am indeed fortunate.